Impersonal construction

  1. Impersonal sentences in Russian are sentences that don't have a grammatical subject.
  2. In English, impersonal sentences have a grammatical subject, but not a logical one:
    It is very cold in January.
  3. The subject, it, in this sentence does not refer to anything or anyone in particular. Russian often uses an adverb as the predicate in impersonal constructions:
    Здесь холодно. It is cold here. Завтра будет тепло. It will be warm tomorrow.
  4. Russian often uses impersonal construction when describing how a person feels. The person in such constructions will be in the dative case:
    Мне холодно. I feel cold
    Сергею там было интересно. It was interesting for Sergej there.
    Наташе здесь будет холодно. Natasha will feel cold here.
  5. Another way to form an impersonal construction in Russian is with the reflexive form of the verb хотеть - хочеться.
  6. The verb хочеться in this construction will mean 'to feel like (doing something)'.
  7. Look at the examples below: Я чочу смотреть телевизор. I want to watch TV.
    Мне хочется смотреть телевизор. I feel like wathing TV.
  8. Notice that the person who 'feels like' doing something is in the dative case.

Copyright ©. George Mitrevski. Auburn University.